Weekly Reason-Rupe Surveys Archive 2011 November 1-31

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For 62 Percent of Americans, the Justification for Stimulus Spending Falls Flat

The justification for several rounds of stimulus spending, as President Obama explains it, is to boost hiring and provide a “jolt” to the stalled economy. However, a recent IPSOS Public Affairs poll finds that a clear majority of Americans are not convinced these stimulus policies have had a positive or meaningful impact on the economy. Rather, 62 percent believe that the stimulus bills Congress has approved in recent years have resulted in greater debt, compared to 28 percent who believe they have helped the economy. Moreover, 82 percent of Republicans and 63 percent of Independents agree that stimulus spending created more debt, compared to 44 percent of Democrats. 

Voters also report that the U.S. budget deficit will impact their vote choice. Sixty two percent of Americans say a candidate’s efforts to reduce the budget deficit will be “very important” in their decision to vote for that candidate. A majority is reached among all major political groups, including 72 percent of Republicans, 59 percent of Independents, and 52 percent of Democrats.

Not surprisingly, an even larger number, 77 percent of Americans, say that a candidate’s efforts to create jobs will be “very important” in their decision to vote for that candidate. A clear majority is also reached among major political groups, with 84 percent among Republicans, 64 percent among Independents, and 78 percent among Democrats.

Survey Methods: Ipsos Poll conducted for Reuters, November 2011

These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted for Reuters from October 31st through Nov 3rd, 2011. For the survey, a nationally representative, randomly selected sample of exactly 1,106 adults aged 18 and older across the United States was interviewed by Ipsos via live telephone interviewing on landlines and cell phones. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within 3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult population in the U.S. been polled.

All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. These data were weighted to ensure that the sample composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population according to U.S. Census figures. Respondents had the option to be interviewed in English or Spanish. Please note that throughout this document, figures based on Independent voters are indicative only due to small sample size. Figures marked by an asterisk (*) indicate a percentage value of greater than zero but less than one half of a per cent. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. Responses are based on the full sample of adults unless otherwise noted.